COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – A new Saturday afternoon event during Hall of Fame Weekend will honor the annual award winners of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in a free event at historic Doubleday Field, highlighting the 2011 season schedule of special events announced by the Museum on Tuesday in Cooperstown.
The Hall of Fame Awards Presentation will salute the winners of the Ford C. Frick Award for baseball broadcasting excellence and the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball journalism, with the presentation of the awards and speeches from the awardees at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 23 at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown.
Free family friendly programming at Doubleday Field will feature Hall of Fame members in interactive sessions and discussions throughout the morning and early afternoon, as a prelude to the Saturday afternoon Awards Presentation.
“Saturday of Hall of Fame Weekend now provides even more reasons to celebrate the heroes of Cooperstown, while keeping visitors entertained along Main Street,” said Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson. “In our continual evaluation of Hall of Fame Weekend and in searching for new ways to further engage visitors, we believe the creation of the Awards Presentation and the Saturday interactive programs at Doubleday Field will strengthen Hall of Fame Weekend and encourage more meaningful participation for both our Hall of Fame members and those who make the pilgrimage to Cooperstown for the annual induction.”
The Awards Presentation will lead into the Saturday evening Parade of Legends, allowing time for fans to depart Doubleday Field and line Main Street while Hall of Fame members are staged for the parade from the Field. The Parade will commence at Main and Chestnut Streets and will conclude at the main entrance to the Museum on Saturday evening, with a start time of 6 p.m.
The Saturday additions replace two long-standing events of Saturday’s Hall of Fame Weekend schedule. Connecting Generations, an interactive game show featuring Hall of Fame members, which has taken place at the Clark Sports Center and the New York-Penn League Game, which was played at Doubleday Field, will not return to the schedule in 2011.
“We have created events that will keep visitors on Main Street, while providing even more exposure to Hall of Fame members, at the historic setting of Doubleday Field,” said Idelson. “As we thought about reinventing Hall of Fame Weekend, we looked at ways to strengthen the tie between the Hall of Fame and Main Street, specifically Doubleday Field, which has been a national icon as long as the Hall of Fame has been in business.”
In addition to the Hall of Fame Weekend changes announced for 2011, the Museum announced the return of the Hall of Fame Classic on Father’s Day for a third consecutive year, with Hall of Famers Goose Gossage, Phil Niekro, Ozzie Smith and four others yet to be announced set to take to Doubleday Field alongside 20 other retired major league stars for a Legends game in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association. Classic Weekend, to be held June 18-19, will also feature a golf fundraiser for the Museum, as well as a number of public programs, to be announced soon.
“We have had great feedback in our first two seasons hosting the Hall of Fame Classic from Hall of Famers, former major leaguers and fans alike about the unique event a Legends game brings on Father’s Day,” said Idelson. “Our goal is to bring new audiences to Cooperstown every year with programming designed for families of all ages.”
Before the opening of summer and the return of the Hall of Fame Classic, the Museum will host special event weekends for two exhibit openings, as well as a salute to the World Series champion San Francisco Giants. “One for the Books,” an exhibit on baseball records and the stories behind them, will be celebrated over Memorial Day Weekend, May 27-28, while the spring opening of a one-year exhibit exploring the relationship between cricket and baseball will be held June 3-5. The “Salute to the Giants Weekend” will be held at a to-be-announced date in May.
Additionally, the Museum announced its major event weekends for the fall season, with the sixth annual Hall of Fame Film Festival, Oct. 1-2, and a Columbus Day Weekend salute to “Character and Courage” to be held Oct. 7-9. Event calendar fixtures such as the All-Star and World Series Galas, and other programs will be incorporated into the 2011 calendar, along with the return of daily programming during summer months.
“By announcing our 2011 special event weekends now, we are providing future Cooperstown visitors ample opportunity to plan their journey sooner, rather than later,” said Idelson. “We’re eagerly anticipating an exciting year for the Hall of Fame.”
The entire calendar of events for 2011 can be accessed at www.baseballhall.org. Additional information can be obtained by calling 607-547-7200.
The Hall of Fame Class of 2011 will feature executive Pat Gillick, who was elected by the Expansion Era Committee on December 6, along with any electees who emerge from the Baseball Writers Association of America voting, to be announced on January 5. The Hall of Fame will also honor Dave Van Horne of the Montreal Expos and Florida Marlins with the Frick Award and Bill Conlin of the Philadelphia Daily News with the Spink Award.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is open seven days a week year round, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. The Museum observes regular hours of 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. from Labor Day until Memorial Day Weekend. From Memorial Day through the day before Labor Day, the Museum is open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Ticket prices are $16.50 for adults (13 and over), $11 for seniors (65 and over) and for those holding current memberships in the VFW, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion and AMVets organizations, and $6 for juniors (ages 7-12). Members are always admitted free of charge and there is no charge for children 6 years of age or younger. For more information, visit our Web site at baseballhall.org or call 888-HALL-OF-FAME (888-425-5633) or 607-547-7200.